Finding Your Voice
Ever have that dream where you are thrust into a situation that requires you to communicate a warning or response to something that is happening but when you go to speak absolutely nothing comes out? You try and try and try to say the words you want but your voice is nonexistent.
I hope I am not alone in this REM experience.
The momentary thought that I could be the only individual who has experienced this led me to google the meaning of said dream.
I found a few different explanations for this totally common (exhale) phenomenon. One is that it is the result of sleep paralysis. Hmm, for me, not so much.
While I do not pretend to be Fraud by any stretch, I feel like the correct interpretation of my “silent dream” is that it is the nighttime expression of my daily battle to be heard. That I had to strive find my voice.
So I did.
I have had, and occasionally still experience, trouble with the first step in a difficult conversation.
That first step being actually saying the words OUT LOUD.
I believe that happens because saying things out load makes them REAL.
Like really REAL.
Conversations in my head do not come with a shaky tenor or even tears of pain/frustration.
But even when I rallied ahead of these tough talks, something was vastly different when I said the words aloud.
Perhaps this is why women have remained silent on transgressions in their workplace for so long. Maybe it goes deeper than the fear of retribution (which is a huge deterrent as well as a regular consequence) in that can be paralyzing to find the strength to verbalize what happened.
While still endeavoring to analyze my dream, I found the following statement regarding inability to vocalize,
“Occasionally a non-speaking dream can mean that one has silenced a part of the self that wishes to express things that push our boundaries, or make us uncomfortable to think about. Pick up a pen immediately after waking and let the words flow. See what comes up”
This is exactly why elevenTEN was born.
Our premise is that if women find a safe place to share their stories, they will become empowered. And writing it down is a therapeutic first point of action.
Let elevenTEN be your sounding board.
If we have learned anything in the last few months, it is that we are not alone in our experiences.
Whether it be sexual harassment, gender pay discrimination, sexism, or marginalization- Sister, you are not alone.
Sadly, this is an epidemic.
KUDOS to the many women who have finally found their voice.
They aren’t speaking out now as some sort copycat phenomenon, they are sharing their stories because someone else did it before them and bravely paved the way.
And if anonymity is paramount to your being able to share your story, well, we have that covered too.
I encourage you to SHARE YOUR STORY. Share this blog. Encourage others to do so as well.
It is only when we can fully articulate our truth with others that we effect change.
Plus, you can get yourself a bad ass elevenTEN tee.